Enjoy all four islands in every weather, rain or sunshine! (Facilities & Cafes)
The Oki Islands are located in the north of Shimane Prefecture. Naturally as they are islands, the weather is ever-changing.
Someday it may rain and someday it may be too hot to stay outside all day. No matter what the weather condition is like, here is how to take a break and enjoy the four islands regardless of what the weather outside might be like!
Author: Ikeuchi Ryota
He lives in Ama Town, and is originally from Kyoto. He works at Entô, a hotel that is a hub and a place to stay in the Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark. He is a receptionist, public relations staff, while also taking care of the hotel’s SNS accounts. As for hobbies he loves to watch soccer and movies.
Make sure to visit these cafes when in Okinoshima Town!
Around the ferry terminal of Okinoshima Town, Saigō Port, there are quite a few coffee shops and cafes within walking distance. From retro shops to stylish shops that have been renovated from old buildings. You will be able to feel the special atmosphere of the island just by walking around the port.
If you want to enjoy the unique taste of Oki’s dishes and enjoy a conversation with some local people, you should still be able to experience the special atmosphere of the island while staying indoors.
First shop, only 10 minutes away by walking from the port, is Kyomiya Bunten.
It is not only just a cafe but a store that offers a curated selection of miscellaneous goods, outdoor goods, and souvenirs. You can also drink “Okinoshima Beer” and other craft beers produced by a brewery in Shimane Prefecture.
Not only that, the couple who run the store are wonderful people. It is a place where people of the island naturally gather even if they have no plans. You may be able to see how the locals interact and exchange thoughts, a treat for any tourist who likes interacting with local people.
Cream soda float is a popular menu item. The vanilla ice cream on top is rich and delicious!
3-81 Yao, Nishimachi, Okinoshima Town
Business hour: 10:00–19:30
Regular holiday: Tuesday
≫ Official Instagram @kyomiyabunten
Next is 100TARO Coffee, which is a 25-minute walk from Saigō Port.
This is a home-roasted coffee shop where you can enjoy coffee that is carefully selected by the owner. It's a shop that doesn't look like it belongs on a far-away island, but in a good way, and you'll be surprised when you enter. It is a very calm space with a modern atmosphere, almost like a beauty salon. The place has this kind of touch because the designer of the shop also designs beauty salons.
There is a wide variety of coffee with detailed explanations, so you may be able to find coffee that suits your tastes. All sweets are handmade, making it a shop that is very delicate.
If you find a favourite type of coffee beans, you can buy them at the shop. Holidays are irregular, and we recommend making a reservation as early as possible on business days. You can check their instagram account for opening dates and hours @100tarocoffee.
117 Johokumachi, Okinoshima Town
Business hours: 10:00–16:30 (L.O. 16:00)
Irregular holiday. Please check on their instagram account @100 tarocoffee for more information regarding the monthly opening hours and dates.
≫ Official Facebook
Tsuki Akari Cafe
Another place worth visiting is Tsuki Akari Cafe, which is a 5-minute walk from Saigō Port.
This cafe is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is run by the owner of Shugetsudo, a local Japanese pastry shop, which is well-known in Okinoshima Town for its sazae monaka, a type of sazae-shaped sweet with azuki beans sandwiched in crispy wafers. Sazae is a type of shellfish that is widely used in local cuisine.
The inside of the shop gives off an island vibe; it looks like a nostalgic Kyo-machiya (Kyoto-style traditional house). From the table at the back, you can see the river flowing towards the sea up close.
Experience the islands by getting a glimpse of the local life while taking a rest. Cappuccino with cinnamon will warm your body up if you are caught by a cold shower rain, too.
Tsuki Akari Cafe
45 Yabinosan, Nishimachi, Okinoshima Town
Business hours: 11: 00–16: 30
Regular holidays: Monday-Thursday, 2nd and 4th Sunday
≫ Official Instagram @tsuki.cafe.yukie
Take your time and relax in Ama Town!
"There is nothing that we don’t have" is the catchphrase of Nakanoshima Island, Ama Town. Many young people are now living on this island, where Emperor Go-Toba was exiled 800 years ago.
There are many places and opportunities on this island for people of all ages to heal their daily exhaustion, discuss their concerns, and interact with each other.
Recently, such places have become available not only to locals but also to tourists. Why don't you come and enjoy a relaxing day in Ama Town and take the time to re-evaluate yourself while sightseeing.
At Kura, you can treat yourself to some aroma or facial treatments, clay footbath, and lenormand cards reading sessions by making appointments.
The cafe is divided into two buildings, one is where you can do these activities, and the other is a whimsical cafe! There is no need for a reservation, just stop by at any time to enjoy herbal tea.
A “Rainy Day Blend” herbal tea is served exclusively on a rainy day, so make sure to visit if your Oki Islands travel plans are changed by bad weather.
In addition, workshops such as scented mist or lotion making, are also held here.
A fun experience that we recommend is a clay footbath. There are various types of clay available, each with different potential benefits. You can choose one based on your senses from the five types and experience the clay-filled footbath.
It might feel strange to choose one with your own intuition, but just relax and you will naturally choose the one with the effect you need now. Clay footbath is great for detoxing, helps relieving muscle and mental tension, and overall increases your health and well-being.
*The layout of the store was significantly renewed in August 2021. Have a rest with herbal tea at the fashionable counter.*
Island Hokenshitsu Kura
1367-1 Fukui, Ama Town
Business hours: 9:00–17:00
Irregular closing days
≫ Official website (Japanese)
A leisurely experience in Nishinoshima!
When it comes to Nishinoshima, most tourists think of the skyscraper cliffs of Kuniga Coast where you can see the spectacular scenery created by nature.
Having a leisurely look at the vast natural beauty of Nishinoshima is what most people visit here for, but the weather does not always cooperate with those plans. On rainy days the fog will cast over the hilltops, making the atmosphere on the island a little more mysterious; and on hot summer days you might want to seek shelter from the sun and relax indoors. There are several places in Nishinoshima where you can do just that.
It is a place where people from Nishinoshima gather to spend time, and where tourists can easily enter, too, so make sure to not miss it.
"Ikaaya" means "let's go" in Nishinoshima dialect.
Nishinoshima Town Community Library "Ikaaya" opened in July 2018, and boasts a chic and beautiful exterior and interior. According to the library director, none of the founding members had experience working at a library. The residents of the island were at the core of this project; continuous discussions about the kind of library they would want to go to were carried out, and the building was created according to that.
For that reason, there are many spaces in the library such as reading space, an engawa cafe and a terrace (engawa is a Japanese style sunroom) , as well as a small kitchen, which are not often found in ordinary libraries. The kitchen is basically operated with a paid reservation system, and since it is also available to the general public, you can buy ingredients on the island, and cook your meal here.
Events are held on a regular basis, and are a good opportunity for islanders and tourists to meet and interact, making "Ikaaya" an even more attractive place.
Read a book, drink coffee, or even cook. Come here and have a leisurely experience on a rainy or hot day.
Nishinoshima Community Library "Ikaaya"
67-8 Urago, Nishinoshima Town
Business hours: 10:00-19:00
Regular holiday: Wednesday
About 8 minutes by car from Oki Kisen Beppu Port Ferry Terminal
1 minute walk from the town bus stop "Hinodemachi"
≫ Official website (Japanese)
Crafts Experience at Chibu!
In Chibu Village, try your hand at a crafts experience unique to the island. Chibu Village is located on the smallest island in the Oki Islands, with untouched nature remaining to this day.
There is no doubt that the Sekiheki (Red Cliff) and Mt.Akahage are the most famous places when speaking of Chibu Village but the great outdoors are not all that there is to enjoy here. The crafts experience that can be enjoyed indoors is also quite interesting.
There are many places in the Oki Islands where you can experience crafting, but in Chibu Village you can experience a slightly different crafting experience that is not found on other islands. Why don't you make your own original souvenir that can only be made here?
You can make a reservation and experience "My Chibu Shichimi Experience" at the Chiburijima Tourism Association in the ferry terminal just off the port.
Shichimi is a seasoning blend of seven ingredients, traditionally including two types of peppers and five other seasoning ingredients. When it was first sold a few centuries ago, it was treated as a herb medicine.
Make your own shichimi spice blend using ingredients from Chiburijima such as Japanese peppers, wakame seaweed, iwa-nori rock seaweed, kuromoji spicebush, yuzu citrus, and chilli pepper. Each ingredient has its own different tastes and scents. How your shichimi spice tastes is up to the amount of each ingredient being used, so you can make one of a kind shichimi that suits your taste the most.
Making shichimi spice mix is such a memorable memory, there is no doubt that you will want to have it on your dining table at home! It's a rare chance to make your own spice and it will remind you of Chiburijima Island’s memory whenever you use it.
The making of the shichimi spice is easy and anyone can easily enjoy the process, because all you have to do is select the ingredients, grind, and mix them together.
My Chibu Shichimi Experience
Price: 2,500 yen (same price for adults and children)
Time: You can choose between 10:00 and 16:00
Number of participants: 1–5 people
Target age: 11 years old and more
Estimated making time: 1 hour
Meeting place: SURUDAWAI (3 min on foot from the port)
The only cafe in Chibu Village! Drop by to enjoy some coffee or tea.
It is also a perfect place for you to have a rest after visiting after visiting Mt. Akahage and Sekiheki (Red Cliff). Make sure to try the owner's home-baked cakes or castard puddings. For lunch, you can have the cafe's special recipe curry rice, prepared by the owner using different spices.
1300-4 Chibu-mura, Oki-gun
Friday 11:30–16:30 (L.O. 16:00)
Saturday Sunday 8:30–16:30 (L.O. 16:00)
≫ Official Instagram @noraricoffee
What did you think of these ideas on how you can spend a rainy or hot day on the 4 islands of Oki?
You might think that it’s hard to find what you can do indoors on the islands, but surprisingly there are a lot of available options to enjoy the island atmosphere. I hope you can enjoy sightseeing in the Oki Islands no matter what the weather is, and make wonderful memories by referring to this article.
Translation by Nicharee Plubsiri (Yaleen)
Photos by Ryota Ikeuchi and Nicharee Plubsiri (Yaleen)